Friday, October 19, 2012

Healthy Spinach Rice

My elder son, who is all of 6 years old now, used to be a very good eater.
When other parents complained about how they had to sit in front of their toddlers, food bowl in hand, for hours together, I commiserated with them, but never really understood their dilemma.
Now that is coming back to bite me in the rear..He still eats pretty well,but I have a tough time getting the majority of vegetables into him, at least straight up..I have had to sneak in some into a few of his favorite foods - add frozen veggies to pasta dishes, chopping up big veggie pieces into tinier ones, etc.
When I decided to make a rice dish for dinner, the other day, I wanted to use some spinach puree so that it would make the dish healthier. On a whim, I also decided to use up some broccoli...In keeping with the green theme, i added some frozen edamame beans as well. along with these vegetables and some simple spices, the rice dish was pretty healthy and tasted good too. I wasn't sure how my son would receive this offering, however. Imagine my delight and my surprise when he gobbled it all up, with a hefty serving of plain yogurt alongside!

I plan to make this again, maybe adding peas, instead of edamame, or adding some shredded carrots for color. It would also make a nice lunch box staple. Do try.



1 C of spinach leaves
1 - 2 green chiles
1 - 2 cloves of garlic
½ inch of fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ C of broccoli, finely chopped
½ C of edamame beans
½ onion, finely chopped
2 - 3 C of cooked rice
2 tsp canola oil (or oil of your choice)
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp coriander - cumin seed powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp juice of a lime
salt and pepper to taste


1. Puree the spinach leaves, green chiles, garlic and ginger with justa little bit of water.
If you are using frozen spinach, then thaw and drain completely before use.
2. Heat the oil in a medium pan over moderate heat. Once the oil is hot, add the spice powders and saute for about 10 seconds.
3. Saute the onion in the hot oil until softened. Then add the broccoli and the edamame beans. Saute until tender, but not mushy.
4. Add the salt and pepper and lemon juice and mix well.
5. Add the spinach puree mixture and stir until heated through.
6. Now add 2 C of the cooked rice and mix thoroughly with a gentle hand, so as not to crush the rice grains. Do a taste test. If it looks as if more rice is needed to even out the flavors, then add the remaining cooked rice and mix.

Serve with plain yogurt, pickles and/or papad (poppadam wafers) for a hearty, healthy and delicious meal :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Eggless Coconutty Banana Bread

I love to bake..I mean, I am no expert, but I like to try out new recipes, especially when the results are yummy! I usually try and bake something every week, because granola bars and trail mixes can go only so far in satisfying my son's snack appetite.
This last weekend, I wanted to bake up some banana bread, because, you guessed it -- there were some pretty ripe bananas on my counter. I tweaked the recipe that I had for banana muffins and came up with a keeper..I have tried it out twice now and both time the entire loaf was gone within two days!


* 1 C Whole wheat pastry or whole wheat flour
* ½ C all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* ½ teaspoon salt
* 3 bananas, mashed
* ¾ C sugar
* ⅓ C light sour cream
* ⅓ C coconut oil
* ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
* ½ tsp ground cloves
* ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
* ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
* ½ C unsweetened coconut
* handful of chopped nuts
* handful of semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
* a couple of drops coconut essence (optional)

* Preheat the oven to 350°F.
* Mix the flours, the baking soda, baking powder and the spices in a small bowl.
* In another bowl, add the mashed bananas, the oil, sour cream, sugar and essence, if using.
* Mix the wet ingredients really well.
* Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a third at a time and mix in gently.
* Be careful not to beat the batter to death, we want a light loaf, not a brick.
* Once all the flour has been incorporated, mix in the coconut, nuts and chocolate chips.
* Pour into a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan and bake in the oven for 50 - 60 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
* Cool the loaf completely before slicing it.

Notes : 
You can substitute yogurt for the sour cream.
I added about 1/2 C of sugar instead of the 3/4 C in the recipe. If you want the bread to be sweeter, then you can add the entire amount.
For an easy vegan version, just replace the sour cream with tofu sour cream or soy yogurt.
The riper the bananas, the sweeter they will be and richer the taste of the bread. You could also use less sugar.